A matter of maturity…

Wine / Friday, February 7th, 2020

It’s that time of year again. The grapes are ripening and vintage 2020 is creeping up on us. It’s also time to start looking at previous vintage wines in barrel and getting them ready for bottling.

Rob has been at the winery checking on his 2018 and 2019 babies this week. We’ll catch up on what’s happening there a bit later.

First I want to show you some photos.

That little block of vines down in Adelaide has been making the most of the rain and the sunshine. The berries are fattening up and ripening nicely with all varieties well and truly into veraison now.

Let’s have a look…


Cabernet Sauvignon






Sauvignon Blanc




It’s a bit hard to tell in the white varieties (because the change in colour isn’t so obvious’, but you can see some stark differences in the rate of ripening in the reds. Just compare the Shiraz or Sangiovese with the Cabernet for example. As expected, it’s becoming more and more obvious that the cabernet needs more time to ripen than some of the other varieties.

While the colour change isn’t as dramatic in the whites, the berries are getting softer and fuller. Check out those nice plump Sauvignon Blanc berries.

We did a quick test of the Chardonnay and it’s already at 9 Baumé (we’ll talk more about this in coming weeks, but brush up here in the meantime). If Rob were in charge of these grapes (which he’s not, but just go with me on this one), he’d be picking them at around 12 Baumé. The general rule of thumb at this stage of vintage is “one Baumé increase per week”. These photos were actually taken last week. So, these grapes will only be a few weeks off picking!

Wow… that all seemed to come around quickly!

I totally ran out of time this week to get a photo from Mount Lofty to show you the difference, but we’re only just heading into veraison here in the Adelaide Hills. I promise I’ll have a photo for next week.



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Now, over to you Rob for the latest…

Winery update…

He introduced his report with this blanket statement: 

“The wines were universally terrific!!”

Pretty sure of himself isn’t he?! (and rightly so…)


2019 Pinot Noir

Medium deepish colour, about the same as the 2018, and very nice hues.  Aromas are fabulous, with such a clean lifted perfume that for me is ideal pinot noir.

It’s not in very new barrels, so almost no oak aromas showing up.  The palate is surprisingly full, with a warmth about it that carries the flavours a long way.  Very soft tannins and the lowish acid almost gives a sweetish effect to the palate.

I decided not to “rack and return”, as I want to keep the perfumes that are there, rather than add secondary aromas and flavours.  Bottling likely soon after vintage. Probably June.


2018 Tempranillo

(Yes, Tempranillo fans… it’s on its way back!)

Nice deep colour and very bright.  Full ripe aromas and very typically Tempranillo.  Slight oak influence is nice.  The palate is quite full, especially after the Pinot Noir.  Flavours are attractively complex and lingering.  Tannins are a bit prominent at the moment – they are not lean and hard, but there’s a lot of them!  So the barrels will be laid out next week and I’ll go through them prior to rack and return.  We’ll get a composite sample and run some fining trials, especially with a view to calming down the tannins.  The aim is to get the fining, chilling and filtering done before vintage and then put the wine back in barrel until bottling at the same time as the Pinot Noir.


2019 Tempranillo

(But wait, there’s more!)

Again, an attractive medium deep colour – more deep than medium.  Brilliant nose, full of rich deep fruit aromas – very clean and vibrant.  The palate carries on with the fruit – there’s a slight hint of oak but not much.  It’s a full rich wine – great flavour.  Tannins are there as for the 2018, but nowhere near as obvious.  Has had a recent rack and return, so no action needed until after vintage.  Looking at a September/October bottling so we get full benefit of the lovely fruit aromas etc, but will assess after vintage – may still need the full 2 years in barrel treatment.


2018 Shiraz

Black as the ace of spades, really really dark in the glass.  Glorious nose which leaps out of the glass with blackberry, plums and McLaren Vale spice plus a touch of French oak to go with it.  Same on the big rich palate – great warmth and lingering flavours. Already showing the sort of complexity I really like in this style of wine. It hasn’t been racked and returned for a while, so this will happen before vintage.   I’m aiming at a July/August bottling.  Genuine Somerled Shiraz!!!



What fabulous news! Stay tuned as it looks like we have more amazing wines heading our way!

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